Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I am curious if anyone knows anything about Wokai ("I Start" in Chinese)? It is a microfinance institution that lends to entrepreneurs in China, but what's caught my attention is that its Wikipedia page is continually being deleted. The organization is setup in a similar fashion as Kiva, but US donors can qualify for a tax deduction, unlike at Kiva. The catch is that after three loans the money goes to the local microfinance institution, hence it is not strictly a loan as it is with Kiva. There are plenty of news reports, so I do know the basic details, but I am really more interested in why it is being blocked from Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brian,

    I'm Wokai's Marketing Director and I'm more than happy to comment on our deletion from Wikipedia. There's a page of comments about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Wokai This was done before most of the articles on our website's Media Center page came out.

    I'm no Wikipedia expert, but I have seen that a decent number of visits to our website come from Wikipedia, where Wokai is listed under microfinance, P2P lending, and charities in China.

    In the Wikipedia page about our deletion, one of the users who flagged us, Huon, said that our audience seems quite specialized on Chinese-American charities. For our marketing, I feel that it makes sense for us to begin our outreach with related groups that are likely to actively support our work.

    From that base, we plan to reach out to more mainstream print and online publications. Thank you for writing about Wokai, and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

    All the best,

    leslie dot forman at wokai dot org